PERVERTED OR DISEASED MANHOOD AND A condensed review of the sad cases of diseased and degraded manhood and womanhood recorded in the archives of medicine would fill thousands of vol umes. In our works upon medical jurisprudence, and in the national penal codes, are filed numberless histories of the unequal contests of civil law with this hydra-headed evil,—contests in which the wisest legislators have lost heart and felt that their efforts for good were fruitless.
The most thoughtful philanthropists tremble at its subtle, venomous poison, blighting the treasures of our happiest homes. The physician, stirred by the simplest feelings of humanity, shudders as he sees the self-immolated victims, from early youth to the decrepitude of age, with careless thoughtlessness or wilful blindness slipping in the ashes of a vast vol canic crater, whose depths are fathomless. Every physician who has labored to save to a redeemed manhood or womanhood even quite young persons who have become the subjects of perverted creative power, knows how hard the task has been. Those who have had the charge of our hospitals, insane and other asylums, reformatories, and prisons tell the same sad story of almost hopeless effort and failure. The fully saved and redeemed ones from this volca nic abyss are fewer than from any other form of dis eased or perverted action of soul or body, and it reaches and is alike destructive to boys and girls, if they are exposed to like infection.
The more intense and highly wrought the general status of organization in either, the more complete and rapid the destructive results of the perversion.
It is my settled conviction, after years of careful observation and reflection, that the only way to stay this widespread, baleful influence must be found in the home. Prevention must be the earnest endeavor of every father and mother, of every human being who would stretch forth a hand to divert the tide of disorder and suffering which must sweep through every life where this high trust is perverted.
I am aware, from a most extended observation, that few comparatively among the masses of our fairly intelligent people have truthful ideas of what is health and what is disease of the genesic faculty. It is a grave matter that some physicians, fully edu cated'and occupying positions of trust and influence, not only hold, but teach, that which is not true regard ing it. In every community there are persons whose false and perverted bias of thought and action in private, in our stores and groceries, and in the bar rooms of our best hotels, would cover with blight the very name and memory of every mother. This is only a sad proof of time unalterable truth that all human beings, whether men or women, carry with them an atmosphere of what they really are, and their sway over others, so far as it extends, moulds them to its own likeness. For this reason I have taken the utmost care to be true, even to minute ness, in the details of healthful and diseased condi tions of the procreative power.